Updated Cubs 2014 Minor League Camp Rosters (3/20)
The Cubs have added a couple of 25-year old "suspects" to Minor League Camp, acquiring 1B Matt Scioscia from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for 1B-OF Trevor Gretzky, and signing RHP Reinier Roibal (ex-SF).
The 6'3 230 Roibal was a high-profile Cuban defector signed by the Giants in 2010, but he was unable to work his way out of Lo-A ball after three seasons in the Giants organization, and was released at the end of Minor League Camp this time a year ago. He then spent the 2013 season pitching for the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League.
The son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia, the right-handed hitting Matt Scioscia was selected by the Angels in the 45th round of the 2011 draft as a college senior out of the University of Notre Dame, where he had been a catcher, first-baseman, and DH. The Angels moved him to 1B full-time in 2013, but like Roibal, the younger Scioscia has been unable to progress, hitting a combined 194/248/224 in 46 games (146 PA) between AZL Angels, Burlington, and Inland Empire in 2013.
I strongly suspect the Cubs will immediately move Scioscia back to catcher, the one position in the Cubs system that lacks quality depth, perhaps hoping that his catching "bloodlines" might awaken. The Cubs are also probably hoping a change of scenery might help the younger Scioscia fulfill his promise, but at age 25 he won't have a lot of time to show what he can do.
21-year old Trevor Gretzky is (of course) the son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and was the Cubs 7th round pick in the 2011 June draft. But through no fault of his own, he was seemingly buried in a Cubs system that is chock full of outfielders with promise. The younger Gretzky never fully recovered from right shoulder surgery (he suffered a torn labrum while playing QB in a football game his senior year in HS) and so he been has been relegated to playing only DH, LF, or 1B in pro ball. (He has what is sometimes called a "rag arm"). However, he doesn't have the HR power you would want out of DH, 1B, or LF, he has just average speed so he doesn't profile as a CF, and he is a below average defender at both 1B and LF. What the younger Gretzky does have is decent eye/hand coordination, a good eye for the strike zone, and a nice opposite-field line-drive stroke at the plate (albeit without any HR power).
2014 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (last updated 3-20-2014):
NOTE: ROSTERS AT MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ARE FLUID. Minor League players are often initially assigned to a squad one or even two levels above where they will ultimately be assigned once the regular season starts. Minor League Camp roster assignments are based on several factors, including the player's position as it relates to the specific needs of the organization, and the player's age, amount of professional experience, and previous season's performance (including any time spent at a post-season Instructional League). As players are sent to Minor League Camp from the Major League squad during the course of Spring Training, there are corresponding roster moves made at Minor League Camp as players are either moved down a level or released.
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Tommy Hottovy
* Eric Jokisch
Barret Loux (limited activity only - shoulder)
Trey McNutt (limited activity only - shoulder)
* Zac Rosscup
Yaniel Cabezas (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Charlie Cutler
* Rafael Lopez
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Lars Anderson
Greg Rohan (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Logan Watkins
Jae-Hoon Ha (limited activity only)
* Brett Jackson
* Mitch Meier (limited activity only)
* Rubi Silva
Josh Vitters (ex-3B)
* Hunter Cervenka
* Frank del Valle
C. J. Edwards
P. J. Francescon
Pierce Johnson (limited activity only - hamstring)
* Austin Kirk
* Jeff Lorick
Carlos Escobar (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Wes Darvill
* Walter Ibarra
Tim Saunders (limited activity only - elbow surgery rehab)
Brad Zapenas (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Pin-Chieh Chen
# Zeke DeVoss
* Bijan Rademacher
# Oliver Zapata
Josh Conway (limited activity only - elbow surgery rehab)
* Nathan Dorris
* Michael Heesch
* Andrew McKirahan
Ryan McNeil (limited activity only - 2013 TJS rehab)
* Al Yevoli
* Rob Zastryzny
Ben Carhart (ex-3B)
Nate Maldonado (player-coach)
* Justin Marra
* Zak Blair
# Jeimer Candelario
* Marco Hernandez
* Dan Vogelbach
* Jose Dore (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Shawon Dunston Jr
* Jacob Hannemann
* Rock Shoulders (ex-1B)
KANE COUNTY (54):
Marcelo Carreno (limited activity only - shoulder surgery rehab)
Jesus Castillo (limited activity only)
* Gerardo Concepcion
* Tyler Ihrig
Juan Carlos Paniagua
* Anthony Prieto
Brad Renner (limited activity only)
* Sam Wilson
# Mark Malave
* Alberto Mineo
Rony Rodriguez (ex-OF)
Neftali Rosario (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Danny Canela (ex-C)
Kelvin Freeman (INACTIVE - may have been released)
* Jordan Hankins
* Danny Lockhart
* Jacob Rogers
# Alex Sanchez
# Trevor Stevens (limited activity only - right hand injury)
* Kevin Brown
* Rashad Crawford
STILL NOT PRESENT ON FIELD: (going back to beginning of Minor League Camp)
* Jeffry Antigua, P
# Kevin Encarnacion, OF (INACTIVE - rehabbing from injuries sustained in off-season car crash)
Mike Hamann, P
Loiger Padron, P
* Brian Smith, P
Elliot Soto, INF (RESTRICTED LIST - 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension)
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.